Today the Middle Kids began the process of writing their first (for some first EVER!) true paragraph of the year. One of our writing goals in Middle Kids is to teach kids to write a well organized paragraph, containing a topic sentence, supporting details, and a conclusion sentence. You might hear your child calling it a “hamburger paragraph.” This is a big job, and one that we will continue throughout the year. Of course we realize that many of our new kids are beginning writers, and just learning to form sentences. Like every academic subject, we individualize our instruction and our expectations during this paragraph writing process. Some of our students will end up with paragraphs that are 4 or 5 sentences long, while others are ready to write 8 to 10 sentence paragraphs.
The first step is prewriting – creating what we call a T-chart. This is a graphic organizer which contains the parts of the paragraph in the correct order. They used the information they collected at home while researching their ocean animals. From this T-chart they can formulate the actual sentences and form their final paragraph.
Above are a few shots of them in the process of creating their T-charts.